Picture a large herd of identical Angus cows and calves. In one corner of the field, all the baby calves lie in a group, left in the care of a single cow, while the mamas graze all over the pasture.
From across the pasture, one black cow lifts her head, sniffs the wind, looks over her back, and bawls toward the nursery.
Instantly, one little calf pops up, stretches, and bawls back before scampering across the pasture. He heard his mama's voice.
I always wondered: How do they know? All those cows look and sound alike. All the calves look identical, too. How does that cow know her calf's cry from all the others? How does that baby, only a few weeks old, recognize one cow's moo?
Sometimes I'm asked, "How do you know when it's God speaking to you? I hear a lot of voices in my head. How can you tell it's Him?"
The answer is in the pasture. That baby calf knows his mama's voice because of the relationship. He's spent every waking minute by the side of that mama cow. He's heard her low moo, knows the sound of her teeth tearing grass, loves the familiar scent of her hide and her milk. He's been nudged by her when he wasn't moving, licked by her when he was dirty, fed, cleaned and loved by her. So it's natural that when her voice calls out, he recognizes it.
The same is true in the spiritual world. Jesus told his followers, "My sheep hear my voice."
We learn to recognize God's voice by spending time in His presence.
Anyone can claim "God told me," but there are some truths we should all remember:
1. God's personal communication with a believing heart will NEVER contradict his written Word in Scripture.
2. God's voice is only heard by His sheep. He does call and convict unbelievers, but His personal instruction is for those He already calls his children. Without a relationship, there's no basis for communication.
3. Learning to hear God takes practice. "Be still and know that I am God." Hearing God requires a stillness of heart and a willingness to lay your heart bare before him, rather than the constant dictating of our desires that we erroneously call "prayer."
4. God's voice often comes through Scripture. So often as I've been praying about specific situations, a Scripture verse will pop into my head. I would never have thought to connect that particular verse with my situation, but there it is. God's answer.
Before you decide whether or not God is speaking to you, ask yourself:
- Do I know for certain that I belong to God?
- Do I know enough of His word to tell whether or not this idea could be from him?
- Does this thought in any way contradict Scriptural principles?
God has a lot to say to those willing to listen.
Get your heart ready so you can hear it.